Chapter 7: Cultivation on the Way
Ye Shang, Qin Zen, and the other two teenagers got on the last cart along with the two guards of Qin Zen, the escort team captain, and several other guards.
After getting on the car, Ye Shang found himself a cozy corner to sit down. But Ye Shang was shocked right away realizing that the cart was actually made of stainless steel, no wonder each cart was driven by three tigers which indeed seemed necessary to withstand the heavy weight of the wagon.
As Qin Zen sat on the opposite side of Ye Shang, the other two teenagers glanced at Ye Shang and could not help but sit next to Qin Zen since Ye Shang’s attire seemed awkward and out of place.
Closing the door, the guards opened the windows, the steel bars on the windows were thick, which showed that the cart was quite well made and safe.
And thus within a few seconds, the cart started rumbling with the wind. Ye Shang thus, put his bags aside and started to meditate with his eyes closed.
However, as soon as Ye Shang was about to enter samadhi, the two teenagers began to whisper, trying to gain favor with Qin Zen.
“Be quiet, or get off.” The captain reprimanded the lively fellas in a bit grave tone.
The two teenagers were shocked and thus dared not to talk because these guards belonged to Chiyang City, they couldn’t afford to offend them.
And as the things turned peaceful again, Ye Shang continued his long session of meditation and cultivation.
His cultivation lasted until he was woken up by the guards. Ye Shang already knew that a day had passed, and it was time to camp and dine.
After getting off the car, Ye Shang found that it was a relatively empty and barren area set amidst a deep twisted forest.
“Go get some firewood back. Don’t go too far.” The captain ordered his fellow subordinates in a pleasant tone.
Before camping, the escort captain had ordered the guards to search around to make sure that there were no large beasts lurking around the forest area.
Ye Shang’s medicinal herbs and gold tickets were with him, and there was nothing important in his bags either. He thus left the bags in the cart and carried the black iron spear as he ventured into the forest to find some dry woods.
Out in the open area, Ye Shang saw a thick and tall dead tree, which seemed so tough that it almost looked impossible for the others to even faze it a little. The dry branches were also very tall, but it wasn’t hard for Ye Shang.
Ye Shang climbed up the dead tree with both hands and feet, smashed the dry branches with the black iron spear, threw them under the tree, and then jumped down. But as he descended down the skyscraping tree his eyes suddenly spotted an antelope running not too far away.
As his body leaped down the dead tree, Ye Shang quickly chased towards the antelope. When he narrowed the distance, he nailed the antelope to the ground with the spear.
Going forward, Ye Shang raised the antelope, then walked under the dead tree, tied the dry branches with wet wood, and returned to the camp.
Looking at Ye Shang, the captain and the guards seemed quite startled since they didn’t except Ye Shang would be the first one to come back and it even took him only a moment to completed his task.
“Kid, very well.” The captain nodded with appreciation.
He knew that the antelopes are famed for their quick reflexes and agile nature. Considering that he had to find the firewood, this antelope must have been killed in an instant.
Ye Shang ignited the dry wood, then went to the side to deal with the antelope body. He then found a wooden pole to pierce through the antelope and returned to the fire.
Ye Shang started roasting the antelope.
“Kid, you’re very experienced.” The captain smiled gently while patting the shoulders of Ye shang.
“Well, I used to do it before. I’ll let you taste after it’s done.” Ye Shang said with a broad smile.
“Okay.” The captain smiled yet again and nodded.
When turning around, the captain’s face changed since the others came back. Some were carrying wood with green leaves, and some were holding a bundle of hay, which were nothing but a rubble of compost that can’t be put into the use of heating the woods.
Taking a deep breath, the captain suppressed his seething anger and waved at the other guards.
Unable to count on them, the captain could only ask the guards to do it. Some guards looked for dry firewood, and some went to the cart to take out the dried cakes and dried meat for the youngsters.
Qin Zen also came back. He had dry wood, but relatively small, which should rather be called dry branches.
Qin Lan put the dry wood in a place not far from Ye Shang and was about to start a fire.
“Master, thin branches will burn out quickly. Team up with him!” said Qin Zen’s guard while pointing to Ye Shang.
Qin Zen looked up at Ye Shang with questioning eyes. After hearing to the words of the guards, Ye Shang turned to look at Qin Zen and then nodded in apprehension.
Qin Zen held the dry woods for Ye Shang and squatted on the side of the fire since it was relatively cold in the barren hills at night.
The roughly textured skin of the antelope oozed with the boiling oil, and the whole body had turned golden yellow. Some guards were also grilling their prey, but Ye Shang’s looked way better and delicious.
An hour later, the antelope was grilled. Ye Shang cut the antelope in half with the black iron spear and gave one half to the captain.
The captain nodded friendly to Ye Shang.
Back to the fire, Ye Shang cut two pieces of meat, handed them to the two guards of Qin Zen, and then cut a front leg to hand over to Qin Zen.
Qin Zen hesitated for a moment before taking the piece of meat from Ye Shang. He then began to eat since he had only eaten a little dry food and could hear his own belly groaning in hunger.
Breaking off two ribs, Ye Shang thought of something and returned to the side of the cart spared for storage of the animals they hunted during their journey. He took out an animal-skinned bag and a black sand bowl.
As he return to the fire, he poured the wine stored in the animal-skinned bag into the black sand bowl and handed it to Qin Zen.
This time Qin Zen didn’t hesitate and reached out to receive his share of good wine.
“Master, don’t drink!” Qin Zen’s guard shouted in a squeaky voice.
Hearing someone shout, many people looked over with eyes filled with suspicion.
Ye Shang laughed at himself then reached out to get the bowl back from Qin Zen’s hands. Since they didn’t believe in him, why should he get the cold shoulder soliciting them?
Qin Zen didn’t let go, though Ye Shang pulled hard, Qin Zen still didn’t let go, and turned to look at the guard blanky.
Seeing Qin Zen refusing to let go, Ye Shang took back his hands. He picked up the animal-skinned bag and drank a mouthful of wine.
“From now on, I’ll take care of myself.” Qin Zen said indifferently as he helped himself shoving the huge bowl of delicacy into his mewling belly
Drinking a full bowl of wine, Qin Zen blushed and coughed.
Seeing Qin Zen coughing, his two guards rushed towards him in an anxious manner.
Qin Zen just shook his head and continued to eat the front leg of the antelope.
With the cracking sound of the coal, the light from fire reflected on everything.
Ye Shang couldn’t help but stuff the meat and drink wine relentlessly as if he had tasted it for the first time like a teetotaller.
After a while, Qin Zen held the empty bowl and stretched out in front of Ye Shang.
Ye Shang however, without thinking much about it, silently poured another bowl of wine for Qin Zen, and then continued on with his food.
Ye Shang didn’t cut the meat for the two guards anymore since he was not in the mood to please anyone.
The two guards thus felt awkward and could only stay on the side.
After everyone finished eating, the guards spread the charcoal fire and knocked it. As the fire burnt out, they drove the beast carts over to the hearth and stopped on the fire, so that bottom of the carts could sustain the biting cold.
After that, the captain asked everyone to rest in the carts, and no one was allowed to go out for safety reasons.
Back in the cart, Ye Shang once again began cultivating.
As Qin Zen saw Ye Shang cultivating, he also closed his eyes and started meditating. However, before beginning his meditation, he took a medicinal herb. If Ye Shang saw it, he would recognize that it was the same herb that Qin Aoxuan gifted him, the core elixir.
Ye Shang would be reluctant to take his core elixir since he only got one bottle of it, but Qin Zen didn’t seemed to have any concerns.
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